Who needs power?

Posted: August 6, 2007 in Blog

The house went dark last night when we were about 10 minutes away from the ending of the latest Die Hard movie. “Ah, no!” the four of us said in unison, even though power outages are so regular they become a part of your routine.

The country gets most of its power from Lake Victoria, a body of water that is slowly receding. And so the reduced hydroelectric capacity and a booming population mean power outages are regular. At one point, “load shedding” occurred nearly daily. Now it happens about three or four times a week, for hours at a time.

I have a battery-powered lamp set up on my desk and two small hand-held lights placed in obvious spots in my room so that when the power goes out in the night I know exactly where to reach for a source of light.

But we were out of luck in the living room. And so it was that four guys were found padding their way cautiously to their rooms. “Where exactly was that chair again?” THUD “Oh yeah, there it is.”

Crawling in underneath my mosquito net, I read for a bit in the glow of my lamp, the light reflecting off the white netting, making it impossible to see beyond my cocoon. I’ve grown accustomed to this setting, even if at first it felt a little inhibiting.

Then, about to doze off to sleep, the power came on, and with it the TV returned to life. I nearly hit the roof like Sylvester the Cat in Bugs Bunny, as Die Hard shattered the silence, sending us all scrambling back to the living room.— not to watch the ending, but instead to turn it off so we could all return to our silence.

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